A Star Is Born
A lot of people will choose to see the full movie several months after its theatrical release when it becomes available online primarily because it is free. Another reason to do so may be because it doesn’t fit the mold that the superhero blockbuster trend has trained moviegoers to yearn.
But critics would tell such people that they are missing out on the cinematic experience of a lifetime, a film that not only boasts Lady Gaga’s first starring role of significance but also features Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut.
It All Starts With Unexpected Meeting
Jackson Maine is a country rocker at the top of his game. His personal life might be racked by the consequences of his alcoholism but once he hits the stage, the singer unleashes a baritone that casts a spell so consuming that it compels his fans to overlook the signs of trouble brewing beneath the surface.
Maine had fallen into a bit of a rut, simply going with the flow that came with recording albums in studios and then spending his time – weeks, months and even years on tour; but then it gets interesting to watch how his live changed when the most inexplicable thing happened.
Jack played a concert in California and then , after the show , decided to stop at a drag bar he found online. He just wanted to drown his demons in a bottle. But then Ally, a waitress, walked into the establishment and sang the most amazing version of La Vie en Rose he had ever heard. The performance took Maine’s breathe away and at this moment he realized a star is born.
The pair spent the rest of that night talking about their mutual love of music. Jackson could see that Ally had talent, not just as a singer but a songwriter.
However, Ally did not believe in herself, the result of a litany of industry voices who had told her that she simply lacked the look to succeed in the music business. Determined to bring Ally’s talent to the world, Maine eventually coerced her onto the stage, giving her the platform upon which she could deliver the performance that would change both of their lives forever.
A Story About Love, Fame And Pain
This is the fourth remake of the original film that followed the exploits of a famous artist who plucked an amateur songstress from obscurity and then watched with some dismay as she proceeded to outshine him.
Preceded in the role by the likes of Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland, Lady Gaga had some rather large shoes to fill. And yet most critics will tell you that her performance exceeded that of her predecessors by a considerable margin, with Gaga fully succeeding in delivering the sort of doe-eyed wonder, skepticism, and discomfort at the revealing light of fame that had eluded Streisand and her ilk.
Bradley Cooper not only directed but produced and even co-wrote A Star is Born, he’s responsible for the movie, not to mention contributing to the song composition. His ability to capture the slow grind of touring and the volatile landscape of pop stardom speaks to a competent director with a bright future in the field.
Anyone who chooses to see A Star is Born more than likely knows that they are walking into a tragedy. Ally and Maine are, at the end of the day, star-crossed lovers. For one brief moment during their earliest days together, they achieve perfect chemistry. For a flitting instant, they manifest a remarkable ability to feed upon and build one another’s careers. But then Jack’s destructive tendencies emerge. This is as an ambitious manager takes note of Ally’s talent, drags her into the world of pop and completely transforms her image to meet the demands of the times.
Maine only wants the best for Ally, and he does what he can to support her dreams. But he also yearns to be the center of her world, to be the only thing of importance to her. He wants his person to be all that Ally needs in life. And the more successful she becomes, the further she drifts away, the more unsettled Jack grows. Gaga’s character for her part knows the hurt that haunts her producer but she also has a compulsion to pursue success with every fiber of her being, even if it means sacrificing everything that made her unique and free.
A Star is Born is strongest when you watch the first half of its run, tightly written, focused primarily on Maine and Ally’s burgeoning romance. Things begin to grind to a halt in the second half, though Cooper sticks the landing, delivering an emotional, poignant finale.